Thursday, July 31, 2008

Employees Must Wash Hands

There is a bar/restaurant hybrid here that I adore for a number of reasons*, including the fact that you can add bacon to any entree including those that already feature bacon as a co-star; because they will serve you a still-bleeding burger and allow you to hold it aloft, marveling at its meaty perfection like Rafiki presenting Simba to Pride Rock; and because they have a jukebox that features four flippable pages of Bocephus selections but nothing by any band who has ever soundtracked your trip into an Abercrombie dressing room.**

The most entertaining feature for me is the unisex bathrooms***, two single-seaters located disturbingly close to the kitchen that always have sanitation levels somewhere between 'Exxon station' and 'gypsy colony'. The unisexers offer amenities rarely found in a Girls Only restroom, things like matches, hand-lettered lists of local sluts****or a wad of pages from the JCPenney intimate apparel advertisement, crumpled and discarded beneath the sink. But then--in an equal opportunity display of defiance--there are times when you walk in and almost step on a stray hair extension, stretched and flattened across the tile like a copperhead that recently met the underside of a Camaro.

Yesterday while waiting for my Bacon, Pimiento Cheese and Bacon Burger to land, I excused myself to the restroom. I was sitting there trying to coax my bladder into performing--since it frequently freezes up in public like a shy six-year old in her dance recital debut--when I noticed that someone had etched "AREOSMITH RULES" in two inch letters on the toilet paper dispenser.*****This is my favorite kind of rock fan, the kind that is passionate enough to vandalize private property but who can't be bothered to learn the correct spelling of the band's name.

I scrubbed my hands, coloring them the angry shade of Crayola's Rosacea Red before paper-toweling the door handle. I walked out in time to catch the opening twang of "A Country Boy Can Survive", caught a double-barreled blast of bacon and beef coming from the grill, and wondered why I ever go home.

* The only negative is that they're one of the few restaurants that still allows smoking, so yesterday's meal was taken across from a guy with knuckle tattoos who tried to make eye contact with other diners as he snapped the filters from his cigs. Satisfied that he'd made a scene, he'd light it and drop it deliberately in the corner of his downturned mouth before returning to his reading, a biography of Charles Schulz. I can't make this shit up.
** In the past month, someone finally peeled the "New & Hot" sticker from the cover of 1989's Full Moon Fever.
*** The doors used to be decorated with both of the familiar male n' female shitter silhouettes, but the male one disappeared and rather than replace it, someone helpfully drew a penis that dangles below the hem of the woman's skirt. For some reason, this always makes me think of Jamie Lee Curtis.
**** That list is updated more frequently than most Wikipedia pages and is quite possibly more accurate.
***** In a related story... Aerosmith? Really?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Clogged

Last night I fell asleep--as I frequently do--while watching the local news, a nightly ritual where "Back to you, Wanda" fills in for "happily ever after" in my bond issue-and-school board-filled bedtime stories. My brain's screensaver had barely flickered on before I was awakened by something bubbling. And gurgling. And sucking. Unless I'd accidentally ordered Turner & Cooch* on pay-per-view, this was something that needed to be checked out.

I got up to investigate and realized that the sounds were coming from my toilet--"The Master Toilet", as I like to say because that sounds more impressive than "Toilet Closest to My Frequently Unmade Bed". I lifted the lid expecting an infestation of Ghoulies but instead was met with an unholy eddy swirling with scraps of Charmin and a liberal dash of evil. I attempted to flush it back down but the lever just flopped impotently on the tank as the bowl continued to taunt me, spitting out bits of toilet paper like a finicky toddler confronted with a fork full of unfamiliar vegetables. I closed the lid and backed away slowly.

Since I'd foolishly broken the seal on the Tanq & Tonics I'd thrown back earlier in the evening, I spent the rest of the night half-consciously stumbling to the guest room, which is all of four feet away, but it's the principle. I was up at the crack of homicidal to call the plumber whose number was listed in my building's handy Guide to Troubleshooting (Except On Weekends and Holidays and After 5 and Maybe Some Other Times Like If Demolition Man is On).

I probably could've saved myself from dialing seven digits and just cruised the parking lot trying to catch the attention of one of the plumbers who always seems to be visiting, along with the ever-present HVAC repairmen. These condos are nice but were thrown up incredibly quickly and may have been constructed by the Doozers. Either there's some shoddy craftsmanship or the Fraggles are gnawing chunks out of the air vents every night.

Anyway. I dialed their number at 6 a.m. expecting to only get a voicemail but was instead greeted by a human. The friendly dispatcher promised to send a crew over and--this is why I like The South--asked if they should bring me a cup of coffee. I politely declined because, let's be honest, I'm not sure I want one of their pipe-clearing paws to touch something I'm going to place near my mouth.

Within the hour, two plumbers knocked on the door and I was immediately disappointed that it wasn't Mario and Luigi. Instead, I got Hank and Jimmy. I'm not sure who was who but one was missing his front big tooth, the other was down an eye and they both smelled like they'd been marinated in Marlboros and Old Spice.

They came in, each sipping from steaming styrofoam cups, and asked what the problem was. I led them to my bathroom, home of the bubbling cauldron where I used to sit and read my catalogs. I politely moved the stack of Domino magazines** while they laid their tools--the same instruments that had been plunging the depths of other people's poop-clogged pipes--on my white bath mats. Watching them drop their, uh, shit there, I felt the same kind of helpless revulsion as someone who's just seen Lindsay Lohan sit on their upholstery.

I stood around wondering if it would be impolite to start Febreezing the rugs, when Hank--the Cyclops--pushed me toward the door, suggesting that I leave them alone. The other one was busily blanketing the floor in plastic like they were expecting a rain delay as I reluctantly walked out, Cyclops closing the door behind me. Fifteen minutes later, Jimmy the Toothless Wonder emerged, excusing himself to go down to his truck. He came back with a bucket. Another five passed before Cyclops asked if he could use the guest bathroom. This was going well so far.

I was busily calculating how much it would cost to move away when the door opened and they both came out. Neither of them would look at me. Cyclops theatrically removed his Red Man hat, wringing it between his hands like a doctor forced to inform the family in the waiting room that he had some bad news, that there'd been complications, that grandpa would never again have use of his tongue.

"Well, we done finished," he said, handing me a water-splattered invoice. "You don't even want to know what the problem was."

"Yes, actually, I do," I said, because I think getting a piece of paper worth $116 that is possibly soiled with my own pee deserves an explanation.

He put his hat on the counter and rubbed his neck with both hands. "Well, you know how beavers make a dam?"

I didn't know if he was actually asking for an answer. "Um...I think so? They gnaw trees and stack up the branches and--"

"I know that. I meant you know of a beaver dam".

"Saplings, really," Jimmy interjected. "They use saplings."

Had my toilet been infiltrated by semi-aquatic rodents? Because I can't imagine how they got in, unless it was that day I left the patio door open. I also didn't know where they were going to find a sapling.

"It's them Tampax applicators," Cyclops continued.

"Wait...the beavers were building with tampons?" I felt like this was something that Sigourney Weaver should be narrating. "How did they open the packages?"

"Yeah, what does this have to do with the beavers?" Jimmy asked.

"NOTHING", Cyclops said, exhaling a nicotine scented cloud. "I mean she--you--done made your own beaver dam with them Tampax applicators.".

"Not on purpose!" I told them, wondering how often in their line of work they got to use nature metaphors. "And it wasn't even my fault. It had to be...uh...my boyfriend."

They stared at me, understandably confused, but letting them think I lived with a menstruating man was somehow better than their assumption that I was some sad old spinster who sits here alone, firing little plastic missiles deep into the pipes.***

"So, um, I'll tell him to stop it," I continued. "But HE SAYS that the box says that they're flushable."

"That's what they want you to think," Cyclops said, jabbing a finger at me and hinting at some kind of super-absorbent conspiracy that I didn't know about. "That's just marketing. They ain't any better for flushing than Q-tips or paper towels".

"Wait... I can't flush those either?"

He laughed the laugh of someone who hates me. "You should probably take a card. And a magnet. Jimmy, give her a magnet".

Jimmy extracted a wallet the size of a throw pillow from his back pocket and handed me several magnets that I immediately decided I would not be placing on the refrigerator. And that was it. They pulled up all of the plastic, picked up all their tools, and left me with a stack of business cards and the lingering scent of cigarettes.

I tossed the rugs into the washing machine before giving the toilet a test flush, making a mental note to stop sending paper products through the pipes. And to keep the patio door closed. They never did tell me how those beavers got in.

*One of the classics, right up there with Sperms of Endearment and Lord of the Wangs.
** I only read home decor magazines in the can because I think I have a better perspective on the rooms from that angle. I'm able to stare out the door, agreeing with this month's issue that soft yellow paint really would enhance the pattern on the duvet cover. Unfortunately, I'm letting my subscription lapse because the only home improvement item I can currently afford is a lint roller.
*** Not a euphemism.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Henri-diculous

Someone gave me this Henri Bendel candle for my birthday, because apparently they think my apartment reeks*. I fired it up for the first time tonight** and for real, this place smells fantastic. I'll probably spend the evening luring some orphans inside so I can bake them into a pie.

*And they thought my birthday was worth $26 plus tax.
** It was either burn the synthetic cinnamon bark or do a variety of disinfectant-related chores that would've kept me away from important tasks like thinking globally, acting locally drawing a picture of a snake eating a smaller snake, wondering if I'd need a permit to raise bees in my guest room, and sulking.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

R.I.P. Mrs. Petrillo

I was disappointed that today was not declared a National Day of Mourning so we could collectively grieve the loss of Estelle Getty. While co-starring on The Golden Girls*--the best thing to hit the Lifetime Network since Midol ads--Mrs. Getty was responsible for popularizing the word "lanai", for delivering zingers like "Fasten your seatbelt, slutpuppy, this ain't gonna be no cakewalk!", and for giving my former college roommate and I the inspiration to create a drinking game** responsible for more than one absence from our Theatre Design class and, quite possibly, rendering us unfit to be organ donors.

So while we all may express our sadness in our own way--I'll be pouring a can of Ensure out in her honor--I don't understand why her passing resulted in a spike in site traffic because of this Yahoo search:
For the past 24 hours, a disturbing number of people have been asking questions about Estelle's ovaries, a search string that has led them here. So, um, welcome new readers with a somewhat morbid interest in the reproductive organs of a now-late character actress...

* If you don't enjoy The Golden Girls, I would appreciate if you and the dark angels in your soul would please stay away from me and my unfettered love for Rose Nylund.

** I know I've written about this before but to play said game, participants are required to drink for each of the following: Every time Rose mentions St. Olaf; Every time Dorothy says something sarcastic; Every time Blanche says something sexual; Every time Sophia mentions Sicily and as AN ADDED LIVER-SHATTERING BONUS, you drink twice if Sophia calls Dorothy "Pussycat." You should keep enough liquor on hand to kill an apatosaurus and also be prepared to perform your own blood transfusion***.

***Actually you should probably just put a plastic bucket beside the sectional sofa, just in case Blanche delivers a heartfelt, hot-flashin' monologue about devirginizing a military cadet named Huckleberry beneath a magnolia tree on Big Daddy's sugar cane plantation.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Postcards From the Road

So I'm back from Kentucky, having survived the drive, the wedding, and the polite request from the Frankfort Police Department that several members of the wedding party would please get out of the Capital Plaza fountain. The wedding itself was beautiful, if not riddled with mishaps. For starters, the groom misplaced the rings, a plot twist that would be hilarious in, say, an Ashton Kutcher movie but it's not as entertaining when the bride and groom--who are keeping with the tradition that says they can't see each other pre-show--are fighting via family members over who's to blame. I suggested Gollum. No one laughed then either.

Following the ceremony, the new Mr. & Mrs. were supposed to load themselves Disney princess-style into a horse-drawn carriage to be whisked from the church to the reception. About an hour before go-time, the bride received a frantic phone call informing her that the horse in question had suffered some kind of leg-related mishap that morning and had to be put down. Nothing says that fortune has smiled upon your wedding day like having to euthanize an animal.

They arranged for alternate transportation--a motorcycle--but I can't believe that there wasn't some kind of replacement horse available. We were in Kentucky, a place where ponies are more plentiful than anything save for bourbon and illiteracy*. My hotel room had no less than four equine-themed items on proud display, including a giant portrait of a horse's head hanging directly beside my pillow, a decorating decision that made me wake up in a panic on Saturday morning, terrified that Don Corleone was trying to send me a message.

Anyway. They still got married and I hope it lasts forever or at least longer than the warranties on the appliances they received.

But enough about them.

Let's talk about me and the 15 total hours I spent in the car alone with my thoughts and a stack of shitty CDs.

I had grand intentions of live-Twitting the weekend, but my first 140-character update from US-52 sent me dangerously close to a guardrail, so instead I scrawled ball-point notes on my thigh and have tried to transcribe them for you here so IT'S LIKE YOU WERE IN THE CAR WITH ME, albeit without the overwhelming aroma of McGriddle and self-loathing.

10:21 a.m.: I just drove past two gentleman on the side of the road who were collecting the remains of what looked like a Chupacabra.

10:37 a.m.: Daddy wrestles alligators, momma works on carburators, speed monitored by aircrafterators. Meet (the Commonwealth of) Virginia.

12:25 p.m. I had a "We forgot Kevin!" moment of panic when I realized that my official wedding shoes were sitting on my kitchen table. Ignoring for a moment the unsanitary nature of placing my dyed-to-match-es where I allow my guests to eat, I was going to have to find some replacement footwear along the way. Thank gawd for the cleverly named Shoe Department in the appropriately named Mt. Hope, West Virginia.

1:48 p.m. The West Virginia state capital. Under the gold wrapper, the entire dome is made of solid milk chocolate.

2:04 p.m.: If you're schizophrenic, can you drive in the car pool lane?

2:12 p.m. Thank you, West Virginia, for making your state speed limit a generous 70 miles per hour. Thank you, West Virginia State Police for explaining that 83 does not equal 70.

2:52 p.m.: If they're ever having a competition for the worst singer of all time, all of the participants should be required to belt out Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl". Between the "woah oh oh oh ohs" and the falsetto that requires a diploma from the Frankie Valli School of Scrotal Scrunching, it has the potential to be a trainwreck of epic proportions. Confidential to Hollywood: I can has development deal?

3:11 p.m. The Four Piece Feast. Color me delighted to learn that gas stations sometimes have a clearance aisle. My above delicacies cost $1.83 which didn't quite make up for the $81 of unleaded I poured into the gas tank. Sadly, Whatchamacallit bars taste like those packets marked "Do Not Eat" sometimes found in shoe boxes.

3:33 p.m.: I passed a sign announcing that this year's Ryder Cup will be at Valhalla, in Louisville. If any of my readers have the power to get me a press pass, I promise hard hitting journalistic coverage of golf's premier international event that mainly consists of trying to lure European captain Nick Faldo to my hotel room for some, um, hard-hitting journalism.**

3:49 p.m. I like to think that the Beer Cave is the lair of Bruce Wayne's less-fortunate half-brother Ricky Lee Wayne. Like Batman, Beerman doesn't have any super powers, but he does have both a drive-through liquor store and a much larger buckle on his utility belt.

3:51 p.m.: The state bird of Kentucky is the extended middle finger.

4:07 p.m. HAHAHAHAHMOREHEADHAHAHAHAI'MSOALONE.

4:52 p.m.: You know you've been in the car too long when you hear a song on Sirius' soft rock channel and you think, "When I get to the hotel, I'm definitely going to download some matchbox 20".

Saturday
8:07 a.m.: When I was out running on Saturday morning, I ran past a gentleman who was using a treadmill. In his yard. Read that again. The name stenciled on the mailbox was "Hicks", the kind of unbelievable detail only seen in hand-drawn illustrations for childrens' books but one that will be the lead clip in my personal 2008 highlight reel.

I was surprised to learn that Kentuckians (Kentuckers?) had such a negative view toward their ruggedly handsome neighbor West Virginia. Any time I mentioned that I was originally from Ye Olde Mountain State, it was met by some kind of derisive comment. Look, Kentucky, you're not that much better. Sure you may edge Dubya Vee in obesity but they've got you in rickets, so grab another horse-shaped novelty item and shut your collective cakehole.

10:17 a.m. The woman sitting behind me at breakfast has been repeatedly assuring--or perhaps warning--her dining companions that she and her boyfriend are "trying for a baby". If I'd eaten another pecan spinwheel every time she used that phrase, I'd be unable to drive home without stopping at interstate weigh stations. "We're trying for a baby" is an expression that always makes me think of a carnival game that involves maneuvering a metal claw. "Our first choice is the baby, but we're also trying for that plush panda bear in the back corner."

12:57 p.m.: A pickup truck parked near the hotel had a bumper sticker that said "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Jefferson Davis". I don't know whether this means that the driver is 147 years old or just a racist. Or, given the way it was deliberately driven onto the lawn of someone with an Obama yard sign, perhaps both.

4:12 p.m.: Overheard before the ceremony: "I sure hope we go to hell. If we don't, we're going to have to make a new set of friends."

6:01 p.m.: Every time I attend a wedding reception, I'm disappointed that the bride and her father don't dance to Pearl Jam's "Daughter".

7:35 p.m.: My perspective upon realizing that I'd just baptized the bottom hem of my dress in the toilet.

Sunday
4:41 a.m.: I grabbed my backpack and rolled out of the hotel, determined to not idle beside orange barrels and bulldozers all day. Thanks to various highway renovations from Charleston, WV to Ashland, KY, I spent an additional 120 minutes seatbelted in on Friday. I should've seen this coming, as West Virginia only has three seasons: Winter, Almost Winter, and Road Construction. So I was out on I-64 before dawn, listening to nothing but soft rock and the sound of giant insects splatterpainting my windshield.

5:39 a.m.: Sausage McGriddles are McManna from Heaven. Syrup filled, artery clogging bits of manna that can eventually kill you.

6:55 a.m. Thank you, West Virginia, for suddenly and without warning lopping 10 miles off of the speed limit. Thank you, Cabell County Sheriff, for showing me the error of my ways.

9:04 a.m.: I have donated $7.50 in tolls to the State of West Virginia. Toll collectors always simultaneously make me think of an Adam Sandler routine and of the untimely demise of the main character's mother in Wally Lamb's depress-o-matic novel She's Come Undone. Sometimes my brain freaks me the fuck out.

10:26 a.m.: A bird just managed to shit through my open sunroof. I don't know whether to be disgusted or impressed. This is the same reaction I have when someone tells me that they can belch the M.A.S.H. theme song. Or that they've spent the better part of their life playing World of Warcraft.

I got home and immediately toasted the couple with my last can of Code Red, saying a silent prayer that their marriage would be forever. If not, I'll be flying to the next one.

* I kid! I kid! These are jokes!
** For more on my Faldobsession, read this. I've wanted to get my mashie near his niblick for a long time, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

__________

On an unrelated note, I have so many awesome commenters with their own stellar bloggage that I need to update my 'roll to the right. So if you'd like me to link you, drop me a note at thetyping [at] gmail [dot] com.

Friday, July 18, 2008

We Didn't Start the Fire

To yoink a line from the John Denver back catalog, all my bags are packed and I'm ready to go, heading to Kentucky* to play bridesmaid in a wedding, which means that in approximately 36 hours, I'll be standing outside in a field wearing an ill-fitting pastel dress** that looks like a dead Muppet.

Until I check in from my hotel--which lists 'television' and 'in-room ironing board' among its amenities--here are two reviews of Last Comic Standing I've written for TVGasm. No, not last night's ep, because instead of watching, I was downloading an embarrassing amount of Billy Joel*** songs to keep me company on today's long-ass drive.

You kids have a great weekend. I would appreciate if someone would clean my refrigerator while I'm gone.

* I remain hopeful that I will be greeted at the Kentucky border by a giant sign that says "KY is for Lovers".
** I've been on the roster for enough weddings to understand that the bride is supposed to be the most beautiful woman in the world (or at least in the buffet line) that day, but there's still no excuse for clothing your friends in reams of synthetic fabrics the color of Easter Bunny spunk.
*** Before Eminem even considered spitting rhymes about his current former current estranged quite possibly dead current wife Kim, I think Billy Joel was the original white rapper. "Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev, Princess Grace, Peyton Place, trouble in the Suez"? BJ's got mad flow. Right? Right? Anyone? Bueller?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

5 Things: Tuesday

1) Over the weekend I managed to shatter the passenger side mirror on my car by crosschecking a giant--yet somehow invisible--concrete column in the parking garage. After spending the morning in a section of the Yellow Pages I'd never seen before, I found an auto glass shop and reluctantly took it to be repaired. I walked in and the receptionist, a sixty-something woman with skin that was speckled like an over-ripe banana, immediately gave me a stack of paperwork to fill out.

"Do you have a current registration?" she asked, flipping through my forms. "Yes," I told her proudly, "I attached it to the last page."

She shook her head. "Your card says 2005," she said, tossing it across the table to me. "I live in 2008."

"YOU MEAN YOU'RE FROM THE FUTURE?" I asked with a laugh. Her response was an expression like I'd just shat in her CrockPot. "Just go set in our waitin' room," she suggested, the hair pile atop her head shifting sideways like a compass needle searching for north. "We got magazines and I think there may be some of them Milano cookies in there too."

The promise of Pepperidge Farm was all I needed. I grabbed my outdated docs and headed for the door. "Wait a second," she shouted as she stood up, peering over the edge of her desk at my feet. I was afraid that my bowels had released when she told me what it was going to cost, so I was getting ready to apologize when she nodded. "You're OK. Go on," she said, crashing the last two words into each other. "Gwan," she repeated, making a hand gesture like she was trying to brush flies away from the bowl of potato salad at a picnic.

I was admittedly curious. "Is there a problem?" I asked doing my best impression of innocence. She shook her head. "Not with you. We just require that ever'body wears shoes in our waitin' area." I had a number of follow-up questions, like how many Shoeless Joes had to stroll in before this became an issue that the receptionist was encouraged to address. Also, if you're the type of person who likes to barefoot it, why would you hang out here, a place that DEALS WITH BROKEN GLASS?

Instead I said nothing, heading through the swinging doors and directly to the plate of PepFarms. There were two framed pictures above the refreshment table. One was "Footprints", the homemade prayer about a man having a beach party with Jesus who notices that there were once two lines of prints in the sand but now was only one. He asked why and I think the answer was because Jesus was on his back. Below that, in a matching wooden frame was a handwritten note that said "Shoes Required". I wanted to go back out to ask if that was some kind of subconscious commentary on the story above or if the Prince of Peace would also be required to slip on some kicks before helping himself to a cup of Customers Only Coffee but instead I placed the last two cookies on a paper towel, rescued a copy of Redbook from the magazine rack, and settled in for the next sixty minutes.

2) On my way out of the parking lot, I was cut off by a car that had a fringed El Salvador flag dangling from the rearview being driven by a woman wearing a hijab head scarf. Her window was down far enough for me to hear the Li'l Wayne beats before she swerved into the merge lane, simultaneously honking and flipping me off. Instead of being pissed, I thought about how many different cultures she’d managed to cram into one Honda Civic.

3) I watched the All-Star game last night from start to finish, including the Pre-Show Celebrity Celebragasm of Celebrities. During the "New York, New York" montage, I realized that David Duchovny has started to look like a forty-year old lesbian.
This troubles me greatly.

4) I'm the Maid of Honor in a wedding this weekend (more on that sure to follow...check local listings) and because my dress showcases an unfortunate amount of skin, I decided to join a tanning salon, even though at my most tropical I'm still the color of undercooked chicken. This particular place--selected because I could see it from the McDonald's parking lot where I was enjoying a pair of SnackWraps--has a number of security measures in place that seem a bit excessive.

"We're going to need your social security number," the polo-wearing Oompa Loompa behind the counter told me, clicking away at her computer. "I'm not applying for credit," I told her. "I just want to look a little less like skim milk."

She chomped her gum twice, sending a spearmint scented cloud in my direction. "Let me ask the manager." She came back wearing a smile faker than her skin color. "Sure, we can sign you up without your social."

"Great," I said, already wondering if this had been a Bad Idea. "I'm ready to go then, right?"

"Nope. We'll have to scan your fingerprint instead."

Again, I had a number of questions. Is tan theft this serious a problem? For reals, I've had friends who have run errands for me, going to the bank armed with nothing but my account number scrawled on the back of a Rolling Stone subscription card, and they've walked out with a lollipop and an envelope full of bills from my account. I'd accept this level of security from a financial institution, but I'm not scanning my ridges and whorls in a place that also sells acrylic nails and a product called "Sex Magnet". There's also no way I'd trust someone named "Kiki" with my personal information.

"I don't think so," I said. "I've seen Gattaca."

She snapped her gum again and disappeared into the back. The manager--a man who looked like Moby if Moby was made of corrugated cardboard--came out, I discussed my concerns with him, and he settled on just insisting that I show ID before each tan session. "Identity theft is a very real problem," he told me solemnly. Oh really, McGruff? Because if someone makes off with my 'social', I'm pretty sure their first stop isn't going to be your Level 3 Bronzing Bed. But, again, I said nothing and thanked him for his time.

They started me at 4 minutes in a bed that Kiki promised had, like, zero burn risk. It also had zero tan risk, because I climbed out the exact same color although my skin was lightly scented with coconut and carcinoma.

Last night when I got out of the shower, I noticed that somehow my butt skin had gotten bunched up beneath me, giving me a coaster-sized red patch on each cheek. Obviously, I'm not going to look any better in the dress but if things get boring at the rehearsal dinner, I'll suggest we all play a game of Twister on my ass.

Next time, I'm buying the Sex Magnet.

5) My internet has been muy hateful today so I jumped on an open wireless network in my building, an open network named Ballsack. So, to whomever’s Ballsack I’m using, I thank you. Without your Ballsack, I couldn’t have gotten my work done. Thank you for sharing your Ballsack with your neighbors. Your Ballsack rea-- OK, I’ll stop.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dialogues

There is a coffee shop in my building but I rarely stop in, because I have an aversion to hot beverages in the summer--when stepping outside feels like I've stumbled into the sani-cycle on the dishwasher--and the sight of the hipsterrific barista who is always wrapped in pages 4 through 28 of the latest dELia*S catalog and it always looks better on him than it would on me, assuming I'd ever want to wear a scarf with a map of Tokyo printed on it and a pair of teal jeans in a size 00.

Yesterday morning I was out of Diet Coke and was in desperate need of a caffeine fix, so it was either break my bean embargo and walk downstairs or lock myself in the trash room so I could rummage through the recycle bins and suckle the last caramel colored drops from the empty cans I'd carelessly tossed out.

Because the trash room smells like dirt farts, I selected Option 1. I stopped in the shop after my run, because there's no better time to have a caffeinated drink than when my tiny heart is already beating harder than a drug-addled drummer*, and also because I like to share my sweatastic, zoo animal funk with as many people as possible.**

There was a line, of course, and I filed in behind a guy wearing glasses ganked from Elvis Costello, a Penguin polo, and a messenger bag slung across his chest. He was mid-forties, and attractive in an exfoliated kind of way. I assumed he worked as a creative director or something equally abstract, a job that required him to use the term 'organic' to describe both his ideas and his bath products, to drive a Vespa, and to liberally pepper his conversations with slang terms he recently read in the Sunday edition of the Times.

He gave his order to Polly Pocket behind the counter, then inexplicably turned to speak to me. I was still rawking to my iPod and contemplating the well-gelled tuft of hair he'd crafted in the middle of his head, a look he'd sculpted possibly hoping to come off as 'complicated yet playful' but it actually made him look like a narwhal. I was so lost in his scalp it took me a sec to realize that he was waiting for an answer.

"What was that?," I asked, popping an earbud out and attempting my most charming expression, even though I know I had Alice Cooper-y mascara trails streaking down my cheeks (leftover from the night before, natch) and a rabid-looking white crust in the corners of my mouth. I also instinctively crossed my arms, hoping he hadn't noticed that the air conditioning had turned my Nike covered nips into two angry Tic Tacs.
He smiled, showing two gleaming rows of teeth more carefully planned than the city center. "I just asked what you were listening to."

"Oh!" I said, because sometimes I like to speak in exclamation points. "The Black Kids".

He tilted his head and his face melted like I'd just told him his coffee wasn't Fair Trade. There was a pause. Then he asked "Which ones?"

Sigh.

STRIKE.
__________

On Friday, I made my monthly trip to Target to waste nine bones on my birth control prescription. I'd been waiting for 12 of the estimated 15 minutes when the pharmacist--a man who had an uncanny resemblance to Jack Black, if Jack had devoured all the kids from School of Rock--called my name so he could give me the Rx-required pep talk about how this medication isn't going to protect me against diseases like cooties or the clap and how there's a chance it will make me develop a blood clot, causing my brain to bubble over like a science project volcano.

That said, he produced a ball-point pen from the breast pocket of his lab coat and said, "OK, I'm just going to need your autograph here and here." He pointed at two signature lines on a form printed with 8-point font as I thought about how much I hate when cashiers say that. It's the campiest expression this side of when the guy at the grocery store sushi counter*** asks if I'm on a diet then offers me one chopstick.

Besides, I ask my customers for their autograph all the time and I thought I was being original.

I pushed the paper back across the counter to him. He peeled a label off the bottom of the page and slapped it on the side of the bag. Before handing it to me he gave me a wink--AN EFFING WINK--and said, "Looks like you have a big weekend planned."

Yes, Douchebucket, that's exactly what it means, that I'm going to spend the next 48 hours giving more rides than Space Mountain. In fact, I'm heading home right now to pop every pill marked "Friday", then seeing who wants to fill my bundt pan with baby batter. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING.

And I think you do.

I'll be back for a refill on Monday.
__________

The store where I work does a group run on Friday nights so I decided to lace 'em up and participate this time. A friend of mine**** who was in town from The ATL decided he'd join too, which was totally rad since that meant he might be shirtless. I decided to overachieve and run to the run--again, going back to my willingness to share my stink mist with others--so when we'd logged our 5.7 and decided to head to dinner, I had to catch a ride with him to the restaurant.

Post eats--when I was realizing I probably shouldn't have said "Thanks!" when he said I'd been the loudest chewer at the table --he offered to drive me home. Don't get your hopes up, Mr. Pharmacist. Considering the boulder-sized burrito that was sleeping in my stomach, trying to run home would've been a disaster that quite possibly would've involved closing one lane of traffic and a DOT clean-up crew.

Anyway, we get to the parking garage and I needed to grab something out of my car. I popped the tailgate, forgetting that I'd been to Target 6 hours earlier. See, sometimes Tarzhay does its best impression of Costco, stocking a hidden aisle in the back of the store with bulk packs of bagels and oversized bundles of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. That day I'd chosen to stock up on paper goods, so as the gate slowly lifted, he got both eyeballs full of the THIRTY ROLL package of Charmin spooning with the three pack of tampons.

He turned away and said nothing, but as I unloaded whatever it was I'd needed in the first place, I caught him staring at me, waiting to see whether my uterus or my colon was going to drop out first.

Needless to say, he didn't come upstairs.

* See: Moon, Keith; Bonham, John; Animal
** Thank you, ma'am, for glaring first at me, then at the glistening wet crescent that was forming where I was standing. It makes my day knowing that I'm ruining yours.
*** Yes, I purchase sushi at the grocery store because I like their salmon Philadelphia roll and I also like having diarrhea.
**** Saying we'd dated might be overstating, but we did go out several times and I know where to find all of his tattoos.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Giovedi

1) My sister Runtie brought me this ad, clipped last week from the Ol' Mountain Trader in Beckley, West-by-Gawd-Virginia. She also assured me that our parents had nothing to do with it.

Oddly enough, I have described myself as "free for hauling" in my eHarmony profile.

2) Speaking of Runtie, she was here yesterday, leading to the following exchange as we perused the "Tibetan Prayer Flag, Incense, and Other Things That Will Make Your Neighbors Assume That You Sell Weed and Sometimes They Will Hint At This When They See You In The Parking Garage" section of Whole Foods.

Me: What the hell is this?
Runtie: The package says it's a paper making kit.
Me: I'd like to know if they've ever sold one of these. Who sits at home making paper?
Runtie: I don't know, but I would like to meet that person if only to congratulate them for having a sadder life than me.
~fin~

3) Thank you to everyone who left a topic suggestion in my previous post. You can look forward to updates on Peru, the store, Pigpen, and, um, monkeys within the next few days. Especially monkeys.

4) You asked for the Boxerbeast, you shall receive the Boxerbeast.
Dr. H.B. Pigglesworth at repose following a long day of destruction and enthusiastic pawing at the crotch of an HVAC repairman during a brief but awkward elevator ride. Not pictured: The safety pins holding the pillow together after spending last evening in Dr. Pigglesworth's jaws.

5) I'm going back to buy a paper making kit. Between that and the rock tumbler, my Friday night had better strap itself down.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Blocked

I'm taking a break from my normal Saturday night activities--googling "pictures + unicorns + kissing", drinking Sprite Zero, and sobbing--to check in on my neglected little blog. If this site were a child, Social Services would've already been called by a well-meaning neighbor and my face would be blurred out on the local news. I haven't done anything stupid lately--save for thinking I could pull off skinny jeans--which means fewer words for me to spill on the internets. So drop a comment and help me out... what can I write about? What do you want to know? What do you like reading?

From me, I mean. If you say "Mitch Albom books" not only can I not help you, I'm not sure we can be friends.